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Marianne Paskowski



Kiss of Death for ‘24’?

February 15, 2008 1:18 PM

Remember, you read it here first: I think it’s a goner. By now you know that “24” will not be returning with a new season this year, hobbled, its creators say, by the three-month writers’ strike, which has ended with most writers back at work.

Even though Fox already has eight episodes in the can, it says it cannot, given the time constraints, produce the season’s remaining 16 episodes in such a short period of time.

On top of that, we’ve learned that Joel Surnow, one of the series’ creators and executive producers, is leaving to pursue other interests. I’m sorry, but something stinks here.

I still have the DVDs from last season, sealed and unwatched. I heard last season was a bust, with a lot of viewers turned off by plot twists involving Bauer’s brother and father. If they were turned off then, I surely doubt they’ll wait until January for Bauer and his cronies to return to TV.

It was a nice run, but it’s curtains for “24.”

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Comments (20)

Marianne Paskowski:

Postscript:

Forgot to add that Kiefer Sutherland, the Jack Bauer character served some time in the slammer, an ideal prisoner, over a DWI. He's in mandatory therapy.

Another reason to ask if this show will ever come back? I loved it, hope it does, but...

Arthur Greenwald:

What?

I think you're leaping to the wrong conclusion, Marianne.

I'm a frustrated 24 fan who's royally miffed to have to wait an entire additional year for my favorite series to return, but I understand the thinking behind it.

This decision is driven by the show's central conceit: a 24-hour, hence 24-episode, format — not to mention ambitious action scenes and pyrotechnics. Unlike "Lost" the season can't be compacted into fewer shows. If 24 ramped back up for production now, the 24th episode would run in mid-summer, guaranteeing lower ratings. Not an option for a signature show.

Last year, Sutherland was signed for at least 3 more seasons of 24. That commitment hasn't gone away. What's more as both a lead actor and a producer of 24, Sutherland has earned nothing but praise from his castmates and crew. He's a daily presence on the set whether or not he's on camera.

And while you're right that Sutherland served jail time for a DUI -- and was further sentenced to complete an alcohol education program. But where'd you get the idea that he is "in rehab?"

24 will be back.

Arthur

Andy S.:

"Even though Fox already has eight episodes in the can, it says it cannot, given the time constraints, produce the season’s remaining 16 episodes in such a short period of time."

Gee, you'd think they could come up with a way to salvage those eight episodes by adding, say, eight more and calling it "16." Then they could give Bauer eight hours of much-needed sack time.

Marianne Paskowski:

Arthur,
You're splitting hairs here, I say rehab, you say alcohol education. Doesn't matter it was mandated.

My turn to nitpick. The moniker "24" has nothing to do with 24 episodes. It's about a 24 hour day in the life of our hero Jack Bauer. During/post strike nets have learned to deal with fewer episodes. What is the big deal with Fox?

20th Century Fox Television, considering Joel Surnow's resignation, made a decision. There's more here than we know.

Conspiratorially yours
Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Andy,

I agree Fox needs to do something with those 8 episodes and it can. But here's a thought: maybe those new episodes weren't that good, Kiefer Sutherland had his problems, that he is addressing. Then Joel Surnow resigns, and whatever else. Another shoe to drop here.

In essence, this is a tough plot to continue with and I think the end is here.

TGIF,
Marianne

Anon:

I agree - 24 is done. Fans may cry foul, but its time to let the show go.

Gonzoguy:

You're right that "24" has seemed to head into perpetual sunset as plot twists became more improbable and the series' central idea lost the freshness and novelty exhibited in the first two or three seasons.

Remember that the series started around the time of the 9/11 attacks, when terrorism was the top public concern (as exploited by Cheney and his puppet Bush). Since then, we've had lots of terrorism plots in TV fiction, and the public now puts the economy, immigration, tax cuts, etc. atop its consciousness. "24" apparently has run its course. Maybe, if Jack Bauer became an IRS auditor, the show could go on.

Gonzo

Marianne Paskowski:

Gonzo,
Maybe you're right, but there seems to be a rise in a new type of terrorism, but it's from own government who has successfully pandered to the nation's wealthiest at the risk of wiping out the middle class, which is indeed shrinking.

Thanks for the post,
Marianne

andrew:

Actually i think 24 will go on, they were planning to shot a movie as well, so i am hopeful it will return, maybe with new writers as well.
Season 4, 5 and 6 were not really that good, especially season 6: it didnt bite, it didnt thrill. Maybe a time break period will do some good. But this show needs to be more real, more thrilling, on the edge of the razor. It also needs to be more realistic and maybe even more dramatic with less happy endings.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Andrew,
I hope you're right, but this series is getting as thin as watered down gruel. It does need to be more realistic, like show Bauer say eating, and getting at least indigestion on the run like other men of his age.

Let's face it, the buzz is gone.

Marianne

Miguel:

There's another reality about why they didn't resume this season in April/May as they could have: Remember the villain country this year was set up to be China. Had they resumed, the final few hours would have aired during the Olympics IN BEJING! They start August 8th. Not sure News Corp wanted to deal with the international heat that would have accompanied such a poorly-timed portrayal of the host country. Remember how much flack they took when "24" portrayed the Arab family next door as Muslim terrorists?

Mike

Marianne Paskowski:

Miguel,

You are a genius, and probably spot on, given the poison dog food from China and the unsafe toys. Never thought about that angle.

Thanks for the post,
Marianne

John:

Fox Execs are some real idiots when it comes to television PEOPLE want to watch and not just tv that operates like a cash cow for them. They are so hung up on American Idiot, er, Idol they refuse to put shows on for the rest of us. They screwed up Prison Break when they threw Sarah Wayne Callies under the bus and cancelling 24 is just more proof that they live way too far above the average viewer to even know what we WANT to watch. All that matters is the bottom line. The greedy studios will blame the writers for their stupidity and dump "reality" trash tv on us and lie to the ad agencies about how the Nielsens are still relevent. Million dollar morons. It really is about time to turn off the tv and go do something real with life.

Marianne Paskowski:

John,
Fox didn't cancel "24" it's just on hiatus for a myriad of reasons. I hate reality shows too, right from the git-go with the first one, "Survivor."

But I think Fox's decision to not bring back "24" until 2009 is definitely a nail in the series' coffin.

Thanks for the post,
Marianne

Arthur Greenwald:

FOX announced today that production is resuming on 24 although, as previously announced, the new series of 24 episodes won't begin running until January, 2009 so the entire season can run without interruption.

24's format remains the same as it has since its debut -- a single story that unfolds within one 24-hour day, with each one-hour episode corresponding to events in one of those consecutive 24 hours.


Arthur

Marianne Paskowski:

Arthur,
That's not my point,I still think it's a mistake to be dead for a year. You can still have a single story that unfolds within the course of 24 hours. What is so sacred about 24 episodes?

Nothing, in my mind.
Thanks for the update that doesn't change anything in my find.

Marianne

insider:

actually because of the delay in the show this year, FOX has committed to two more seasons -- the current one in 09 and another in 2010. not quite the nail you are predicting.

might be better to wait and see how the show does in its return - the trailer alone for this season made the show look like it returned to its action backed roots.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Insider,

I understand the commitment from Fox, but I wonder, given the gap, how committed viewers will be when it returns. That's the risk I'm talking about.

Thanks for your post,
Marianne

michael:

Last season was the first where I had no problem stopping the DVR and finishing an episode later. In prior years, that did not happen.

Marianne Paskowski:

Michael,
Come fall, Fox is giving a prequel to remind viewers about what happened in season six, not much, and teasing them into season seven that won't start until Jan. 09. That was in my latest Blog about Fox dangling a carrot for "24" junkies.

You sound like me, I don't care anymore.

Thanks for your post,
Marianne

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